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Daily zinc supplements reduced the incidence and severity of acute lower respiratory infections in children in India

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Question Can zinc supplementation reduce the incidence and severity of acute lower respiratory infections in infants and preschool children in India?


6 month randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial.


Community based clinic in a city in India.


609 children who were 6–35 months of age (mean age 19 mo, 52% boys), had attended a community based clinic for diarrhoea, and had recovered from the initial diarrhoeal episode. Follow up was 99%.


Children were allocated to zinc gluconate, 10 mg (n=298), or placebo (n=311) given daily in 5 ml of liquid supplement containing vitamins A (800 U), B1 (0.6 mg), B2 (0.5 mg), B6 (0.5 mg), D3 (100 U), and E (3 mg) and niacinamide (10 mg). Duration of treatment was 6 months. Children who had diarrhoea received 10 ml of the supplement while they …

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  • Sources of funding: World Health Organisation Diarrheal Disease Control Program; Thrasher Research Fund; Johns Hopkins Family Health and Child Survival Cooperative Agreement; US Agency for International Development; National Institutes of Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr R E Black, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Room 5039, 615 N Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Fax +1 410 955 7159.